Spermatotoxic effects of aqueous leaf extract of Bryophyllum pinnatum on adult male Wistar rats
Contraceptive use for fertility control in males is minimal. This has prompted the use of herbs for such remedies. Herbs are investigated so as to determine any contraceptive potential which could be beneficial for use. One of such herbs investigated in this study was Bryophyllumpinnatum. The study was aimed at investigating the effects of the plant extract on the histology of the testes and epididymis, sperm parameters and pituitary-gonadal-axis hormones in adult male Wistar rats. Fifteen  adult male rats were used for the experiment. The rats were randomly assigned into three groups; control group (A) and two treatment groups (B and C) with each containing five rats (n=5/group). Rats in group A were given feed mash and water ad libitum daily throughout the experimental period while animals in group B and C received 500mg/kg and 1500mg/kg body weight of the Bryophyllumpinnatum,leaf extract respectively in addition to the feed mash and water. The rats were weighed before and at the end of the experimental period which lasted for 60days. They were put under chloroform anesthesia and a mid-line incision was made through the ventral wall of the abdomen. The testis and epididymis were excised, weighed and fixed in Bouin’s fluid for routine histological examination. Blood was collected from the inferior vena cava for hormonal analysis while semen was collected from the vas deferens for sperm analysis. Data were expressed as Mean ± SEM. Significant difference between means were determined by ttest and one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA). Results from this study showed a nonsignificant fluctuation in body and organ weight in treatment groups B and C. Sperm parameters assayed showed a non-significant decrease in sperm count and sperm motility but a significant increase in percentage of abnormal forms while a significant decrease in percentage of normal morphology was observed in treatment groups B and C. Hormonal analysis gave a non-significant fluctuation in levels of FSH, LH, prolactin, estrogen and progesterone. There was however a significant increase in the level of testosterone in treatment groups B and C compared to control. Histo-architectural studies of the testes revealed normal cellular arrangement, epithelial lining and luminal sizes in control and treatment groups, however there was mild intercellular congestion and widening of intercellular spaces observed in treatment groups B and C. Epididymal histo-architecture followed similar pattern observed in the testes in treatment groups B and C. From this study,it can be concluded that aqueous leaf extract of Bryophyllumpinnatum was spermatotoxic causing a decline in sperm count and an increase in abnormal sperm forms.
Keywords: Bryophyllum Pinnatum, Testis, Epididymis, Spermatotoxic, Infertility